Lebanon tells a story of hospitality, beauty and wisdom, but also of soldiers, guns, ruins, sharped fences, shooting towers and bombed buildings. It is the allegory of life. It’s a miniature history of the world. In less than 100 square kilometres you will encounter all our painful past and all our hopes for the future. There will war, there will be fear but there will also be love and genuine hope despite the numerous times it has been put to trial.
Walls speak of ancient conquests, great betrayals, luxurious affairs, cries filled with suffering and vivid laughter, carrying the dreams of all young souls through streets filled with fragrant spices, tasty desserts, apple and mint tobacco and mysterious perfumes. The souks are filled with bright colours, animated negotiations and all the treasures that you will like to take home.
Children run up and down the corniche, kissed by the mediterranean sun, while their fathers take out their fishing rods and debate about how all things change. Women, veiled or unveiled, mesmerise any passerby with their infinite shades of emerald eyes. Well mannered gentlemen go out their way to help and assist with courteous requests, while seniors avidly read their newspapers, enjoying a well made coffee.
Abandoned buildings whisper how they were once filled with love and warmth, while sky scrapers shelter international affairs and powerful signatures.
Nothing is hidden and no one is ashamed. All beliefs and values stand proud, between roses and opium poppies handed out gracefully through barbed wire or in front of a high end fashion store.
I like Lebanon because it’s REAL. I like all its contrasts, all its humanity, grief and misunderstandings. This is the kind of place where heads are held high under a weight of emotions that most of us never got to experience.
Lebanon invites you to get over yourself, to learn and truly understand the fragility of our existence. It invites you to be grateful and cherish your family and community, because peace and safety can and should never been taken for granted.